Here’s why blue shampoo could be a miracle product for brunettes

For years, blondes have been turning to purple shampoo to keep brassiness at bay. Now, brunettes finally have a product that’s all their own: blue shampoo!

Yes, that’s a thing. Blue-tinted shampoo gets rid of unwanted brassy tones in brunette hair — a particular problem among women who dye their hair or have highlights — when the color starts to fade.

“That’s when your undertones, the natural pigment, starts popping up, and the red comes out,” celebrity colorist Mincho Pacheco, who uses blue shampoo on his clients at James Joseph Salon in Boston, told TODAY Style. “Everybody has red in their hair, even blondes.”

“It’s great to cancel out orange or red tones from brown color,” he added. “We use it on someone who always wants that deep, shiny brown look, someone who spends a lot of time in the sun, or someone who washes their hair too often.”

Blue shampoo works for brunettes the same way purple shampoo works for blondes. Colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel cancel each other out, so purple gets rid of yellow or greenish tones and blue gets rid of orange or red tones.

Hairstylist Paul Norton is also a fan of blue shampoo — he’s used it on celebrity clients including Gina Rodriguez. But he adds that brunettes shouldn’t discount purple shampoo entirely. Depending on what tones you’re trying to correct, it might even be the better option.

Actress Gina Rodriguez, blue shampoo, Paul Norton
Is blue shampoo the secret to Gina Rodriguez’s shiny brown hair?GC Images/Getty Images

The moral of the story? Play around until you find a shampoo you like.

“It is 100 percent safe to try any of these at home,” Norton told TODAY Style. “This is not something you need to rely on a hairstylist for because there’s no deposit of color. There’s only tonal correction, and it’s not even aggressive tonal correction, it’s almost surface-level tonal correction. And it’s not permanent.”

Both experts recommend that brunettes with brassy tones use a blue shampoo (like this one from Ulta) about once a week. But be careful: If you use too much at one time or shampoo too often, your hair could turn darker than your desired shade.

In the salon, Pacheco swears by blue shampoos by Fanola ($20, Amazon) and Alaparf. Norton is a fan of Bain de Terre’s lavender shampoo for brunettes.

But if you’re looking for a quick fix, here are a few drugstore versions to try at home:

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Matrix Total Results Brass Off Shampoo


Matrix’s blue shampoo promises to enhance the cool tones of brunette hair.

Pro tip: Wear gloves and make sure to give your shower a good rinse afterward to avoid any leftover blue residue.

Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo


Joico says its blue shampoo is perfect for naturally dark brunettes who have salon highlights they want to perk up.

Madison Reed Tune Up Color Reviving Shampoo


Madison Reed’s version is a blend of blue and green pigments and also promises to protect colored hair.

Pravana The Perfect Brunette Toning Shampoo


In addition to its shampoo, Pravana also makes a conditioner and a hair mask to amp up your brassy-banning routine.

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